Huge Rant About My Beautiful and Crazy-Ass Sixteen Year Old Daughter Isabel and the FUCKING SHITTY "Special Needs" School We Got Tracked Into This Year:
So Isabel (my daughter) has been getting her period every two weeks--one on, one off, so no respite, basically, from the nausea and vomiting and massive cramping--so her doctor said "Take her off the pill for a few days and let her have a regular period--maybe her body is fighting for one." This makes some sense, since for the first few months she was on this new pill it was helping tone down her periods (she takes it all the time, no placebos), but then it got ugly, little half periods where she would be sick and miserable but wouldn't bleed. So she's having her period for real for the first time in months and of course it is TERRIBLE, perpetual shitting like usual, and now bleeding like a fountain, massive cramps, sick to her stomach.
This is all just set up. So prepare.
So the school (her special school, where she goes in the morning, for kids with behavioral and mental health issues) has written documentation of her period problems, endometriosis, etc--they asked for it and I got it for them, from her doctor. We also have written confirmation from her therapist and psychiatrist about her severe mental health issues (her therapist's words) and her unresolved grief over her father's death (two years ago). Her therapist stressed in her communications to the school that it is essential Isabel has people around her that she feels like she can trust, and who take her seriously--yes, she can be manipulative and controlling like many mentally ill people who need to control their environment, but aside from that she is a SICK KID, both mentally and physically. Which is why, ultimately, she is at this FUCKING SCHOOL. So yesterday she was so incredibly sick, but she got up and got dressed and went to school--she had massive cramps but couldn't take anything because she was too nauseated to eat. And was, of course, bleeding like a fountain. But she tried and got there. An hour later I picked her up--she just couldn't make it. This happens. Anyone with heavy-metal periods and endometriosis gets this. Anyone who has read the documentation and attended the MYRIAD FUCKING MEETINGS ABOUT ISABEL knows this is a real issue. AND this is a school full of kids with mental health and behavioral disorders--the staff is supposedly trained to deal with these kids, who, especially under stress, can be less than respectful (to say the least)--ergo, one would assume that the best thing to do would be to model respectful behavior, correct? But instead Isabel's teacher says to the school therapist, where Isabel can hear her, "Isabel says she's sick, but I think she's just being a drama queen again." Isabel reported to me that this was not said (my words, not hers, hers were more colorful) in the most respectful tone of voice, and was accompanied by exaggerated "OMIGOD" hand motions. I think that this, perhaps, is not good modeling.
Isabel went to the school therapist and said, "How am I supposed to trust anyone here when my teacher talks about me as if I am lying and you don't stand up for me?"
Of course, I heard this all from Isabel and took it with a grain of salt--then this morning, confronted the school therapist who initially said Isabel's teacher's tone was in no way disrespectful, but, eventually, when pressed, admitted she had sent Isabel's teacher a note concerning her tone when talking about the students, particularly where they can hear, and reminded her that there is clear documentation of Isabel's issues, AND we had just discussed them in a very long and not very productive meeting. Well, why the fuck are you sending emails about it if she wasn't being inappropriate and disrespectful, hmmm? A thing I get tired of is how the adults think they can just say these kids are lying and assume they (the adults) will be believed because the kids have behavioral and mental health issues so OF COURSE they are lying.
I admit, I have serious issues with this teacher anyway. She is smarmy and obsequious whenever she is confronted with anyone in a position of power (I witnessed this, much to my disgust, in our meeting), and is quick to lay blame on Isabel (the sick kid) for everything. About a month ago, Isabel was having serious problems with her online chemistry course, so she went to her academic advisor, who she loves and trusts and who has always had Isabel's back, and asked for help. She ASKED FOR HELP, the appropriate thing to do when you are having problems--go to an adult you trust and ask for help. So he called her "special school" and explained the problem and was told a plan would be created to help Isabel through chemistry. So the following week Isabel asked her teacher for the plan--and I am guessing she was neither polite or pleasant about it--first because she is sixteen and second because she was in complete panic mode as the clock was ticking and she was already far behind. The teacher told her she would get the plan when she (the teacher) had time to explain it and when Isabel could ask appropriately. Two weeks and two requests later I finally called the school to find out what the fuck was going on. Isabel was completely freaking out and getting worse every day as the teacher had effectively frozen her in place, unable to continue with her work. This is an ACADEMIC ISSUE--and the teacher decided not to allow her to continue WITH HER ACADEMICS until Isabel behaved in a way she considered appropriate. THE SICK KID. Her ACADEMICS.
So we had the meeting, because they love to have meetings. And do you want to know what the plan was?
There WAS NO FUCKING PLAN. Her only solution was for Isabel to drop chemistry. Now, if I had known this when the issue arose, I might have come up with my own solution. A tutor, probably. But by the time we were informed it was way too late, and the only possibility was to drop the class. So half a trimester's work gone and now she is behind a science class for graduation. Can I say I hate this woman? I fucking HATE this woman. Everyone does. Isabel comes home telling me about talking to other students and staff who hate this woman and think she is totally wrong for this job. It IS a hard job. I am down with that. Working with challenged kids is HARD--I myself could never do it, I would never have the patience and I admire and respect, profoundly, people who put themselves out there to fight for these kids. But I KNOW that. I can't do it, so I DON'T, because it would be bad for the kids, and I care a whole fucking lot about every single one of those kids because I know they are STRUGGLING. Sometimes I really feel like Isabel's teacher is just a bully and wants to be there because she can bully vulnerable kids who can't strike back at her--a lot of their parents don't give a fuck. One of Isabel's good friends, Solomon, goes there, to the special school, but almost never shows up and no one cares because his not showing up doesn't "inconvenience" anyone. His mom is an addict. My heart breaks for him--he's an awesome kid and I love him. And no one will help him. A lot of the kids there are like that. And this bitch takes advantage. Fucking sociopath.
Then Isabel calls me right this second and tells me she wants to be transported to her home school (the regular high school, where she takes music and art) for lunch but they said I called this morning all pissed off about the confusion in transport times on days when there are two hour delays for weather. between schools. They actually told her I was ANGRY. I was in no way angry. I was just confused and trying to figure out if I should bring her there or just bring her to her home school. I never spoke angrily or expressed anger. In fact, I was very calm, just trying to figure out the right thing to do. And this isn't the first time I have had something like that happen. I was trying to call one morning to figure out when my appointment was with the director, since the school was (again) on two hour delay, and got disconnected so I called back and left a message, and when I finally got to the meeting I was told the secretary had said I had been calling over and over again--which was patently untrue. I called twice. The initial time, and then after I got disconnected. This makes me question, strongly, things I am told about Isabel and her behavior. They seem to be all about passing the buck--to the sick kid, to the parent of the sick kid, doesn't matter, as long as no one at the school has to take any responsibility.
Oh, honey, shit is going to come raining DOWN.